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November 22, 2010

Vegan MoFo #16: My First Vegan Thanksgiving

Vegan Thanksgiving Proper
I thought it would be wonderful to celebrate my first Thanksgiving as a vegan with an all-vegan meal. My family is not ready for this kind of celebration, so I invited seven friends over on Saturday night to celebrate my way. Despite being the only vegan in attendance, the two vegetarians plus five omnivores were very enthusiastic about the all-vegan menu. My goal was to wow everyone with several vegan versions of classic Thanksgiving dishes. In typical Thanksgiving fashion, this meal was indulgent, and by no means health food. The end result made it all worth it, there were plenty of wows to go around!

Tofu Deviled "Eggy" Bites
For appetizers we started with Tofu Deviled "Eggy" Bites. This is Bianca's magical recipe, which utilizes an Indian spice, black salt, to simulate the flavor of eggs. Everyone agreed that these were surprisingly authentic, and this platter emptied quickly!

Artichoke Dip
To go with the Tofu Deviled Eggy Bites, my friend Jenny brought Artichoke Dip with pita chips. I highly recommend this recipe from C'est La Vegan, it was a favorite at the party.

I was going to make a third appetizer, Lindsay's Sausage Stuffed Mushrooms, but I ran out of time. Sad! I hope to make these for Christmas, if I can wait that long!

Pumpkin Nog Martini
We enjoyed some pre-dinner cocktails of Pumpkin Nog Martinis. This blend of Silk Nog, vanilla vodka, cinnamon, and pumpkin puree were inspired by Heather's Pumpkin Pie Bliss. I topped these off with Soyatoo Whip, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a cinnamon stick.

Soy and Seitan "Turkey"
For the main event, I made Bryanna Clark Grogan's Soy and Seitan "Turkey". Unfortunately this recipe has been taken offline, so I don't have a link for you. The base of this "turkey" is a blend of tofu, wheat gluten, and chickpea flour. This roasts at a low temperature for 4 hours in a vegan chicken-flavored basting broth. The result is remarkable, perfect taste and texture, which was enjoyed by all.

Green Bean Casserole
 In selecting classic Thanksgiving side dishes, I knew that it had to include a green bean casserole. I chose Susan's recipe, which is rightfully titled The Best Vegan Green Bean Casserole. This was so fresh and delicious, way better than the standard cream of mushroom soup and canned green bean variety.

Sweet Potato Casserole
I chose another one of Susan's recipes for the Sweet Potato Casserole. Many bloggers have praised this recipe, and they were absolutely right to. The light flavors of orange and vanilla are what make this casserole extra special. This was the most talked about dish at the table!

Cornbread Scallion Pecan Stuffing
Thanksgiving would not be complete without some stuffing. I decided to go with a not-so-traditional recipe, Terry's Cornbread Scallion Pecan Stuffing. Homemade crumbled cornbread meets vegan sausage, leeks, onion, green onion, red bell pepper, chopped pecans, and a bit of cayenne pepper for a substantial, lightly spicy, and meaty stuffing. Delicious!

Mashed Potatoes
Then of course there were mashed potatoes. I used yukon gold potatoes, because they are the creamiest and the skin is tender enough to mash right in. Into the mash went a bit of soymilk, olive oil, and salt for mashed potato perfection!

"Poultry" Gravy
And what is "turkey", stuffing, and mashed potatoes without some gravy? I chose C'est La Vegan's "Poultry" Gravy, which turned out to be a very good decision. This gravy is so, so good!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Last but not least, some roasted Brussels sprouts to round out the meal. I forgot to take a picture of Carolyn's delicious homemade cranberry sauce, but you can spot some on my plate at the top of this post.

Steve and Carolyn at the buffet line
My guests descended onto the buffet line with enthusiasm, and we feasted until we could feast no more! Well, until it was time to serve dessert anyway...

Vegan pies with ice cream and whipped cream
We may have made a bit too much pie, if there is such a thing! Carolyn brought a yummy chocolate pie, and I made the Pumpkin Cheesecake (recipe from PETA), Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie (recipe from Lisa Marie), and Pumpkin Pecan Pie (recipe from Fran Costigan). Steve was kind enough to bring the Tempt Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Soyatoo Soy Whip to top off our pies. Everyone had a favorite -- mine was definitely the Southern Comfort Caramel Apple Pie, oh my goodness!

A big thanks to my wonderful friends who celebrated my first vegan Thanksgiving with me! Thanks also to all of the lovely bloggers that created these outstanding recipes, I could not have done it without you. Happy Thanksgiving!


  1. It looks like a great first vegan Thanksgiving for you. Congratulations! Thanks for sharing all the recipes you made.


  2. Wowzers that is a feast!!! I wish I could have been there at least I would not have been 1 out of 12 who was a vegan! :D

  3. Ooh, those pumpkin pie martinis are so cute! I may need to whip up a batch later this week.

    Also, you can never go wrong with roasted brussels sprouts.

    And you can never have too much pie! (Hello, leftovers for breakfast!)

  4. Very impressive. Everything looks great and so glad you tried the pumpkin cocktail. Hope you enjoyed it as much as I did ;-)

  5. I'm so glad you liked the recipes! Everything looks amazing. Such an impressive spread!

  6. That looks so good, I can't think of anything besides thanksgiving at this point! Yours looks just perfect!

  7. I am so impressed! Everything looks fabulous! I wish my Thanksgiving was going to be as yummy as yours. I'll be visiting family this year, so I won't be able to make a big feast like I have done the last few years. Maybe I'll have a vegan post-Thanksgiving meal.

  8. swoooooooooooon! you ROCK Sarah! that's one crazy awesome vegan thanksgiving feast! everything from the brussels and sweet potato casserole to the "turkey" and pies look amazing! i just drooled onto my shirt a little. ah ha ha!

  9. Woah! That all looks so amazing! Next year I'm flying over to your thanksgiving feast.

  10. Wow! What a spread. Congratulations to you! Now, you have given me the push to get going on mine! Pumpkin Pie filling tomorrow, Candied Pecans, Cranapple Tart, Cranpear Slump (I love cranberries, Chocolate and Coconut Cupcakes, Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins. Oh my. First we'll eat our veggies!! You rock!

  11. This looks like it was a great time! I really wish I had some time off around the holidays to do something like this with my friends. :)

  12. Holy moley! That all looks crazy good. Now I can barely wait until Thursday. I'm sad that the tofurkey recipe is down. I have referred a lot of people to it over the years.

  13. yum, it was great! Now im famous in your blog!

  14. OK, so my mouth is watering here Sarah. Not the best post to read just before lunch, with all the drooling over photos and knowing my lunch just isn't going to live up to that. *sigh* You will just have to convert your family gradually. I can have everyone eating a wholly veggie meal at Christmas, except my dad, who brings some chicken for himself and then has all our trimmings. I only allow this once a year. It is Christmas after all!

  15. That all looks so good. I am going to a small Thanksgiving gig this year (just me and two other people who are omnis), so I ordered a vegan field roast meal from Whole Foods for just me and they ordered a catered thing from somewhere else. I just have to remember to pick up some soy whip for my vegan pumpkin pie, I only just learned the whip existed this week (and rice whip, too? Crazy!) I'm going to flex my cooking muscles next year.

    RYC: the Gardein stuff is just too real. But I hope that means good things for animals. If Omnis like it, let them eat less meat because of it or let more transitioning folks discover it and hopefully stay on track w/ eating no meat. I saw a thread on the Silk Facebook page that was "Turkey or Tofurkey?" and it looked like plenty of people had discovered the Gardein turkey cutlets. Hope yours turn out great, but I don't know how they could top this spread here!

  16. What an amazing round-up! I love the tofu bites idea - I actually can't stand deviled eggs, but those look wonderful!

  17. Wow! Everything looks so delicious! Thanks for the recipe links. Where could I find the recipe for the roast?

    I wanted to have a vegan meal this year, but like you my family is no way into it and none of my real live friends are vegetarian. I'm compromising by making some vegan dishes to bring to family dinner and everyone has agreed to try them.

  18. what an amazing and beautiful post! My, my you worked hard! You even tackled Byanna's seitan loaf... I have yet to try that one. I am really amazed and impressed with all the various dishes you made. Way to kick of Vegan Thanksgivings!

    Also, I like the idea of an all-vegan thanksgiving. Maybe I'll steal that for next year. Our family celebrations are all-vegan, except for the turkey. There are still a few folks (*cough* dad! *cough*) who insist on the turkey. But everything else is vegan, so that's pretty cool.

    happy thanksgiving!

  19. wow what a selection of dishes - I bet no one even noticed the lack of animal - I have never done a thanksgiving spread but this looks like one I would love - I have to come back and really check out all these great recipes.

    And great concept - I used to have a vegetarian Christmas dinner before going home to a meat centric one - it really is a great balm when among the omnivores

  20. Amazing, a true feast indeed! I sure wish I could have been at your house for Thanksgiving... My plans pale in comparison!

  21. Oh those pies! Beautiful blog, lady. The deviled eggs is a really cute idea. Here's a back door link to the turkey. I feel a little guilty posting it but truly....I love the internet...I love free content...I love sharing. And besides, I just copied it from a message board ;)

  22. Wow I would have loved to be invited to such an amazing vegan feast!! Everything looks so perfect and delicious.


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